Fungal Degradation

Group leader: Birgitte Andersen

Filamentous fungi (Ascomycetes) play an important role in nature by recycling plant material and in biotechnology as the source of food additives and pharmaceuticals. But they also destroy crop plants, food products and manmade materials. These same properties, however, can be utilized in waste management, bio-fuel production and the production of green chemicals and enzymes.

Our group is committed to the study of filamentous fungi and their utilization in basic research as well as in applied biotechnology with a focus on fungal degradation - both unwanted and by design.

The purpose of our research is two-fold: to prevent fungal growth and propagation in water damaged buildings and to control fungal growth and breakdown of waste products for sustainable production of bio-fuel and chemicals. We focus on toxic and allergenic genera, such as Chaetomium, Cladosporium and Stachybotrys, and hemi-cellulase producing genera, such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Trichoderma.

Research areas:

  • We collect and characterize the fungal biodiversity in manmade environments and natural habitats in the Arctic regions and temperate zones and screen the fungi for new and functional traits.
  • We discover new fungal taxa, new metabolites and new enzymes.
  • We identify fungal strains by using a combination of classic morphology, metabolite profiling and molecular sequencing and integrate them in the IBT Fungal Collection.
  • We study the external parameters that govern germination, growth and sporulation and facilitate volatile, mycotoxin and enzyme production.
  • We analyze the fungal growth potential on building materials and plant litter with respect to pH, temperature, nutrient and water content.
  • We collaborate with national and international researchers on metagenomics and barcoding of indoor fungi.

Group members

Foto af Birgitte Andersen

List of group members with contact informations and academic profiles

Research Projects

Skimmelsvampe i en petriskål
Research projects in the group


Birgitte Andersen
Associate Professor
DTU Bioengineering
+45 45 25 27 26